Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

With Nibali in command, Tour is about 2nd place

By
From page B2 | July 26, 2014 |

BERGERAC, France — Ramunas Navardauskas gave Lithuania and his American team a stage victory Friday at the Tour de France. Now cycling’s great showcase is reduced to this — the race for second place behind Vincenzo Nibali.

The Italian, who has all but won the yellow jersey, cruised to the finish in Stage 19 in the rain-splattered pack behind the Lithuanian’s breakaway. Only a mishap of the highest order during Saturday’s time trial would deny Nibali victory in Paris on Sunday.

With cool and methodical racing, Nibali has bit by bit built a lead of more than seven minutes on his closest rivals, and much more against many others. Frenchmen Thibaut Pinot and Jean-Christophe Peraud and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde are vying for second and third.

The showdown comes down to Saturday’s 54-kilometer (33.5-mile) race against the clock from Bergerac to Perigueux. Relatively long by Tour standards, the time trial will require riders to maintain a steady rhythm and face the wind or rain on their own without the protection of the pack.

Only 15 seconds separate the three riders behind Nibali. Pinot trails the leader by 7 minutes, 10 seconds. Peraud is 7:23 back, with Valverde two seconds slower. Pinot is considered the least skilled among the three in time trials.

“Tomorrow is the most important stage of the Tour,” Pinot said. “I’ll have to be strong.”

Next in the standings is France’s Romain Bardet, a teammate of Peraud’s on the AG2R La Mondiale team. But he’s more than two minutes behind Valverde and not considered strong in time trials. American Tejay van Garderen is regarded as strong, but he’s another two minutes slower in sixth place — and erasing his four-minute deficit to join the podium contenders would be no small feat.

In reverse order of the standings, riders on Saturday set off one by one down the starter’s ramp at several-minute intervals over more than six hours. Cheng Ji of Giant-Shimano, the first rider from China in the race, will go first. Nibali goes last.

The not-quite flat and long course will require riders to muster all the strength they have left in legs that have suffered, strained and burned over three weeks — a trek that began in the hills and dales of Yorkshire, England, covered coarse cobblestones and ascended several mountain peaks.

“There’s no real danger, it’s not too technical — it’s really power that will matter,” race director Thierry Gouvenou said, referring to the time trial. “There’s just a little climb at the end, but after you’ve covered the Alps and the Pyrenees, it’s really a little climb.”

Three-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin of Germany is perhaps the favorite to win the stage, Gouvenou said, but “when you reach this part of the Tour de France, it’s really a question of freshness and what you have left in the tank.”

Just as Italy is eager for its first Tour winner since Marco Pantani in 1998, many French fans are ebullient at the prospect that the first rider from the race’s homeland will reach the podium for the first time since Richard Virenque in 1997.

Those two success stories, however, came at the height of cycling’s doping scandal. Both riders were later sanctioned in connection with banned performance enhancers. Since then, with a crackdown on drugs cheats in place, the peloton has cleaned up considerably.

Navardauskas rides for the Garmin-Sharp team, which has been among the most outspoken against doping. He led a late breakaway in a downpour to win the 208.5-kilometer (129.5-mile) stage from Maubourguet to Bergerac. He looked over his shoulder, kissed his fingers and raised his arms in victory, with the pack barreling in behind him seven seconds later.

He became the first Lithuanian to win an individual stage in the Tour. In 2011, he was on the Garmin-Cervelo squad that won the team time trial at the Tour that year. He also won a stage in last year’s Italian Giro.

This victory by Garmin-Sharp — its first on this Tour — was a team effort. First, Dutch rider Tom-Jelte Slagter joined a five-man breakaway early on, then sped ahead alone. Alex Howes of the U.S. helped pull the Lithuanian up front before Navardauskas went solo with about 13 kilometers (8 miles) left.

“I gave it all. My teammates worked really hard for me,” Navardauskas said. “I took a risk — you have to try — and it worked.”

The performance eased some of the sting Garmin-Sharp has felt on the Tour. First, team leader Andrew Talansky of the U.S. pulled out before Stage 12, the pain from crashes proving too much. Three stages later, New Zealand’s Jack Bauer cried at the finish line. He had looked over his shoulder in the last several seconds only to see the pack deprive him of a long-breakaway victory with just meters to go.

“I was just hoping that it would not happen the same way as Jack. To the last 10 meters, I was afraid to turn back,” Navardauskas said. “I had no idea what was happening behind me.”

In the last few kilometers, about a dozen riders crashed together while trying to turn on the rain-slickened roads. Among them were Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who has the green jersey given to the race’s best sprinter, and Bardet, who is fifth overall.

Peraud briefly got delayed. But that didn’t dent his hopes for a top-three finish. Under course rules, because the crash happened in the last 3 kilometers (2 miles), nobody who got ensnared in it lost time in the title chase.

That makes for a close contest Saturday.

“I’m looking for the second place as I’m only a few seconds behind Peraud and Pinot,” said Valverde, the Spanish time-trial champion. “It’s going to be a great fight. I think Peraud is a better specialist than Pinot. Well’ see.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 3 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7